Taking lyrical cues from “Get Me Back Even Again” off his wonderful new album Block Out The Sirens Of This Lonely World, Chip began this intimate, outstanding, ebullient performance with the important things… “A warm hello. A welcome smile.” On record he finishes this triumphal mix with “A good shot of whiskey,” adding “Good stuff always lasts a while.” That being so, the great Chip Taylor should last forever!
Various artists have been recording definitive hit versions of Taylor’s multi-genre-ational pop masterpieces for generations – Willie Nelson, Jackie DeShannon, The Troggs, Hendrix, Sam Kinison, Merrilee Rush – but none can deliver them with the authority, sincerity, warmth, and humor of the terrifically prolific, graciously gregarious man himself.
Yonkers child Taylor (acoustic guitar), Norwegian Goran Grini (stellar keyboards) and Van Morrison’s John Platania (electrifying guitar) blended splendidly, instrumentally rendering every precious song with appropriate restraint or train-wreckless abandon.
“The Real Thing” was SUNsational, cleverly referencing colorful R&B singers’ unbleached, original race records before the songs were white-washed, watered down (“like 86-proof until it tastes like tea”), and made popular. “I Can Make It With You” was a catchy, inspirational anthem to lovers paired and love dared, bared, shared; “Hey Vinnie” a conversational, prayerful lullaby; “It Wasn’t Me – It Wasn’t You” achingly beautiful; “Pretty Good Order (human beings)” hilarious, glorious, celebratory. Featuring bright Morning Star Jesus as alpha-God director, “The Last Video” was an epic, Armageddon-ready, tour-de-force revelation! “Wild Thing” moved everybody, the rousing sing-along chorus reduced to a whisper, like collective sweet nothings in the ear and tender kisses on the neck, before slowly, steadily, seductively building to an ecstatic, communal climax. Buy his records, catch him live, listen and learn, see and believe. Get hip to Chip Taylor!
- Dennis McDonough